Box set of the week
Album: Joni Mitchell, The Studio Albums: 1968-79
Sunday 16 December 2012
As purple passages go, this one was deepest mauve. From Song to a Seagull to Mingus, it stands as one of the great "projects" in post-war songwriting, not unflawed but absurdly high-flying in terms of aspiration and achievement.
Four, maybe five, of the 10 records stand, unarguably, among the great works of the period. And here they all are, organised in one affordable package, cheaply but tastefully enshrined, like dainty little tablets from the mountaintop of the art of confession. Anguish, wanderlust, desire, reproach, indignation, loneliness, narcissism, longing .… Only Bob Dylan has greater reach as a poet of chaotic individualism.
It's fair to say the albums which bookend the core Joni experience aren't all that (Mingus in particular has not worn well), but the top notes in the middle of her 1970s run remain untouchable, all the more admirably perhaps because the woman doing the confessing isn't always likeable
But that doesn't mean the musical effort isn't often magnificent, especially on Hejira, which gets closer than any other suite of music to making the tonality of jazz work as a poetic force in the context of pop narrative songwriting. There must be someone you've hurt .…
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Natalie Portman tells Harvard graduates: 'Accept your lack of knowledge'
- 3 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 4 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
Grace of Monaco film panned: Screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman as movie gets US debut
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
Suicide Squad: Leaked footage shows first look at Batmobile chasing Joker through city streets
ASAP Rocky sparks outrage with misogynistic lyrics about Rita Ora in new song 'Better Things'
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote